Information On Barium Sulfate

Barium sulfate (BaSO4), a white or yellowish odourless powder, is the barium salt of sulfuric acid. The name comes from the Greek word for heavy = barys, which indicates the element’s high atomic weight. It is very insoluble in water but soluble in concentrated sulphuric acid, forming an acid sulphate dilution. Due to its extremely low water solubility, barium sulfate, as compared to other barium compounds, is non-toxic.

The mineral Barite, which is composed largely of barium sulphate, is a common ore of barium. Barium has a green color in a flame test which is used to separate barite from other minerals. Stones made from impure barium sulphate, the natural impurities, can be ferric oxide or silicon dioxide for example, and glow when exposed to light, the phenomenon is called phosphorescence.

In nature, barium sulfate is found as crystals which due to their high density are referred to as barite (heavy spar). Considerably larger deposits are found in China which, in addition, ranks first in barium sulfate mining. The naturally occurring type of barium sulfate is used most commonly. For applications that require very pure white colors, barium sulfate is obtained by precipitation as “blanc-fixe” (permanent white).

Barium sulphate is used as fillers for plastics, paint, rubber and resins. It increases the plasticity and weight of plastic materials that are used for sound insulation in e.g., car mats, carpet coatings, or plastic sewage pipes. The chemical inertness and high temperature stability of barium sulfate are made use of in friction linings.

It can also be found in photographic papers and is used as a pigment. Together with zinc oxide it is known as a white pigment called Lithophone and another white pigment is called Blanc fixe. Blanc fixe has except barium sulphate also sodium sulphate as a component, but pure precipitated barium sulphate is also called Blanc fixe.

Barium sulphate precipitated improves the volume and consistency, viscosity and workability of e.g., fillers, surfacers, and primers. Blanc-fixe is added for easy glazing of glossy papers and photographic papers (barite papers). Burning of such papers leaves whitish barium sulfate deposits. In the textile industry, barium sulfate is found as a finish for linen goods and an agent for rayon matting during etching and printing.

Due to its high coefficient of absorption for gamma radiation and X-radiation, barium sulfate is used in concrete (barite concrete, barite cement) that screens nuclear reactors. It is contained, in addition, in numerous radio-opaque substances (radio-opaque barite).

How to Perm Hair?

Chemically processing hair requires the breakdown and restructuring of the hair into a state different than its natural one. Relaxers permanently straighten the hair using chemicals. Perms (short for “permanent waves”) chemically curl the hair permanently. Sometimes people incorrectly refer to hair relaxers as perms, but these are two different processes that achieve different results.

Perms are a thioglycolate-based chemical product. This means they can only be processed with another thioglycolate-based product. If a perm were to be applied to hair that was previously relaxed using lye or any other non-thioglycolate relaxer, the hair would begin to break off and come out every time it was washed or combed. The two different chemical processes will break down the hair structure so severely that the hair will break off or fall out even with gentle handling. However, if a thioglycolate-based relaxer was previously applied to the hair, a perm can be applied. This should only be done by a licensed hair stylist who is trained in such processes or applications. Be advised that the previously relaxed hair may need to be cut during processing, as it may become dry, brittle and prone to breakage.

Chemical Relaxers
Chemical relaxers come in various chemical formulas, which include sodium hydroxide (lye), guanidine carbonate, calcium hydroxide, ammonium bisulfite and a thioglycolate-based variety. Most relaxers found at mass retail are no-lye formulas using guanidine carbonate, calcium hydroxide or ammonium thioglycolate. If you have previously relaxed your hair with a lye-based, guanidine carbonate or calcium-hydroxide-based relaxer you can alternate formulas when it comes time for your retouch, which is four to six weeks after you last relaxed your hair. However, thioglycolate-based relaxers cannot be used on hair that was previously relaxed with any of these other types of relaxers. Thioglycolate-based relaxers can only be used with another thioglycolate-based product. Ammonium bisulfite (the CAS number is 10192-30-0) relaxers are very common in mass beauty-supply retail stores; however, they are labeled “for salon use only,” meaning they should only be processed by a licensed stylist.

Perming Frequency
If you perm hair that has been previously relaxed with a thioglycolate-based relaxer, the process is only performed once. Any perm touch-ups will be done on the new growth between the scalp and the previously permed hair. If any of the previously relaxed hair remains beneath your perm, it will be cut off, because it now represents damaged ends that will break.

How Does Glow Paint Work?

Gone are the days when the walls and ceilings of your home were painted in the same 2 – 3 shades available. As kids, we wanted our room to be painted with cartoon characters, be it Winnie the Pooh or Mickey Mouse. But instead of sticking boring glow stickers on the wall, how about painting it with paints that glow? As it lasts longer as compared to the stickers and gives a better look as well.

In such paints, generally an acrylic paint is used as the base and hence the paint may look a little thick compared to normal paints. Besides painting the walls of your room or your kid’s room, you can use these paints for craft work as well.

But remember, you need to cover your face while mixing the powder to make it paint as accidental inhalation can irritate your lungs.

When glow paints were first introduced, they were made using radioactive materials making it toxic and harmful to the health. But now, with advances in technology, glow paints have improved and do not involve any radioactive elements.

Glow paints do not contain light in them. But they do have a pigment known as phosphor that makes them glow in the dark. Phosphor has got a tendency to accumulate light energy like that from the sun and when it’s dark, it glows. When phosphor comes in contact with sun or any other form of light it absorbs the photons and later in the dark, the paint emits these photons. The photons thus released emit a phosphorescent glow. This process is known as photoluminescence.

Also, it is easy to maintain the glow paints. Most glow paints are washable and hence in case your wall gets dirty, all you need to do is wipe the wall gently with a dry cotton cloth.

Glow paints are available in two types; day paint and night paint. Daytime paints are clear and display the colour that is beneath it while the night paints are the ones that emit photons and glow in the dark. So next time you are about to paint your home, see if you can use these paints to make it a little more exciting!

How Does Hair Detangler Work?

Hair is the crowning glory of any girl or woman. In fact, in recent years, even men have grown a fascination towards having long tresses. Right from Bollywood to Hollywood, many actors have started a trend of long tresses and new look in their films. However, managing long hair is not a child’s play. It is important to maintain them and keep them tangle-free as much as possible.

You go on a long drive and because of the strong blowing wind and dust; you end up with tangled hair. After getting back home, you try to detangle your hair using comb, however you yelp in pain as detangling pulls your hair and hurts badly. Detangling the hair can be quite a pain and tedious too. That is when hair detanglers come to your rescue. However, have you ever wondered how does this stuff work?

What are hair detanglers?
As the name goes, hair detanglers help in detangling your hair in a non-painful manner which otherwise could have been quite painful. It is a type of hair conditioner that smoothens your hair and prevents a static feel to the hair that can further tangle your hair. Hair detanglers have ingredients that help in smoothing your hair and make it soft to help them stay tangle-free till the next wash.

Before getting into how this hair detanglers work, let us first find out what are these stuff made of. Hair detanglers are made of ingredients like silicone in the form of polymer which helps in adding gloss to your hair by binding your hair shaft to the surface.

Hair detangler also has an acidifier that brings down the pH level of the silicone polymer and strengthens the hydrogen bonds between the keratin molecules in the hair and helps in tightening the hair strand. They also contain hydrolyzed protein that helps in repairing damaged hair and Cationic surfactants that help in smoothing the surface of the hair. Also, it has essential oils that help in making your hair soft and make them less vulnerable to tangles.

Hair detanglers are nothing but work of chemistry between different ingredients. Wrong chemicals can definitely affect the quality and interfere with the texture of your hair. If you do not have hair detanglers, you can prepare your own at home by diluting regular hair conditioner with water and sprinkling it on your hair.

Want Fake Snow? Let’s Begin!

Missing out on white Christmas because you live in a country where there is no snow? Well, here’s a solution! You can make your own fake snow!

Fake snow looks very similar to the actual snow and is non-toxic in nature. It is made out of polymer and gives you a cool feel when you touch it, just like real snow.The ingredients and procedure to prepare fake snow are simple. Things that you need to make fake snow:
a) Common polymer or sodium polyacrylate
b) Water

You will find sodium polyacrylate or common polymer in disposable diapers or as crystals in your garden as it helps in keeping the soil of the garden moist.

Here is how you make it:

To prepare fake snow, all you have to do is add water to sodium polyacrylate or common polymer. It will take the form of a gel. Keep adding water till it is completely moist. The more water you add, the slushier the gel of sodium polyacrylate or common polymer will be. Sodium polyacrylate or common polymer is cool to touch and hence you get a snowy feeling. If you wish to add a more realistic touch to it, you can refrigerate the mixture. Do not worry; this gel does not dissolve when refrigerated. Even if it dries out you can rehydrate it by adding water to it.

If you want your snow to be drier, add less water. If you want coloured snow, you can add the desired colour to the mixture. However, bear in mind that fake snow can cause harm if consumed.

Preparing fake snow is not only fun but also easy. So why not try it today?

The Relation Between Wine Making And Chemistry

Wine is indeed an indispensable part of any celebration. But have you ever thought of why wine tastes so good and which factors contribute to the taste of wine and how is wine brewed, what kind of chemistry is involved? Well, let us unlock all these questions.

No celebration is complete without wine. But have you ever wondered why wine tastes so good and what kind of chemistry is involved in brewing it? Today we answer these questions!

Wine is made from grapes. Besides containing water, grapes contain two different sugars: glucose and fructose and chemicals like tartaric acid, malic acid, amino acids and a few others. All of these determine the character of the wine produced. The most important chemical reaction in the wine making process is the breaking down of glucose by yeast, resulting in the formation of ethanol and carbon dioxide as gas. There are many important factors at this stage, which affect the wine.

First, the sulphur dioxide gas is passed through the crushed grapes to kill wild yeasts. If this is not done the yeasts would compete with one another and the fermentation process would stop prematurely.

Followed by this is the control of the pH or acidity level of the grape pulp. If the grapes are too sweet or if their pH is too high then fewer flavours are produced in the wine. The pH can be lowered by adding tartaric acid at the start of the fermentation process.

Fermentation is an exothermic process. Heat is produced by the reaction but there are various reasons for keeping the temperature controlled and as low as possible. Yeast stops growing as temperatures increase and will die at higher temperatures. Also at lower temperatures, the colours and flavours are extracted from the skin and the by-products such as esters and aromatic compounds are produced which add to the flavour and also the clarity of the wine.

It has been said that regular consumption of wine in moderation is good for you (if you are of legal age of course!). Studies have shown that wine drinkers are less prone to heart disease, cancer and other diseases. Combating diseases through wine is done because of the presence of certain chemicals. The antioxidant resveratrol present in wine helps in reducing cholesterol and the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. But these chemicals can also be found in other food and drinks as well.

A Common Material Used For CDs

Today, with the discovery of discs or CDs, we do have CD cases to store these data storage devices. The material used for packing and also in CD cases plastic model kits is called as polystyrene. Let us now find out how this useful material came into existence.

In the year 1839 German apothecary Edward Simon accidentally discovered polystyrene. This discovery was recorded on the website of the Plastics Historical Society. Edward discovered a new chemical called as “Styrol” which was an oily substance that he had isolated from a natural resin. He had hardened the resin for a few days and assumed that it had oxidised. In 1845, English chemist John Blyth and German chemist August Willhelm von Hoffmann proved that the same reaction took place in the absence of oxygen, showing that it was not oxidation.

In the year 1866, Marcelin Berthelot demonstrated that the hard material was actually a polymer. The problem was that the monomer was very unstable and used to turn into the polymer before it should thereby preventing the useful application of polystyrene, as it came to be known in the mid-twentieth century. In the year 1922, a step forward was taken when Dufraisse and Moureu found that the monomer could be stabilised by adding small amounts of aromatic amines and phenols.

Wide Usage
The only problem with polystyrene is that it is not bio-degradable. It is light in weight and hence it floats on water and is easily blown by wind. The polymer which is otherwise hard and colourless can be cast into moulds with very fine detail. In this form it was used for economical, rigid plastic items, such as plastic model assembly kits, plastic cutlery, and CD cases. Butadiene/styrene co-polymers were used to produce synthetic rubber, and this was used extensively during the Second World War.

Of course, Polystyrene’s main use now is in its expanded form. This form is produced by heating a mixture of polystyrene and a gaseous blowing agent like pentane or carbon dioxide. With the help of steam foam is made, which is then cooled to make the material most commonly associated with the name polystyrene. The bubbles of the trapped air in the material give it very low thermal conductivity thereby making it useful as an insulation material in building applications. It is also used for many types of packaging where fragile material needs protection from impact damage.

A Look at the Role of Enantiomers

Enantiomers have a strange, fairytale beauty behind them and these evocative “mirror, mirror” molecules are nearly alike in appearance but sometimes dissimilar in significance. The differences include that they reveal themselves in pharmacological activity, scent variation, and possess a fascinating ability to rotate a plane of polarized light in a certain direction.

Enantiomer is also known as optical isomers; antipodes, or enantiomorphs. Enantiomers are also known as stereoisomers. They have the same number and type of atoms, but possess one or more chiral centres where an atom is covalently bonded to four different functional groups. These four groups are arranged differently in space around the chiral centre(s) of each enantiomer in such a way that it gives mirror images that cannot be superimposed on one another. The word “chiral” finds its origin from the Greek word which means “hand” and hence human hands also show the same property.

In nature, one enantiomer may be the only form available or useful. For example, D-glucose, L-ascorbic acid, L-amino acids but in the lab all bets are off. Many drugs are synthesized and marketed as racemic mixtures.

At times one enantiomer is a harmful substance while the other is relatively innocuous. The S form of methamphetamine is a government-controlled isomer which is as useful as it is to the narcoleptic, but on the other hand, it is too dangerous a stimulant to ever be readily available. The synthetic analgesic methadone, which was supposed to wean addicts off heroin often ended up a drug of abuse itself and exists as enantiomers, with the R form being the active isomer.

Most of enantiomers do not smell the same, while some do have identical or extremely similar odours. Some of the enantiomers alter the intensity of the scent notes.

Insects that react to chiral pheromones prefer one enantiomer over the other. The male moth can detect a few hundred molecules from three miles away! It is still not known whether humans really unconsciously react to a sex pheromone; but if they do, it’s a good bet that one enantiomer of it will make an enticing, upscale-cosmetics-counter perfume, and the other create pretty much a complete bargain-basement dud.

Understanding Polyvinyl Acetate

Polyvinyl acetate (PVA or PVAc) is a thermoplastic polymer with a chemical formula of (C4H6O2)n. It is a synthetic resin prepared by the polymerization of vinyl acetate. In its most important application, polyvinyl acetate serves as the film-forming ingredient in water-based (latex) paints; it also is used in adhesives.

This chemical was first discovered by a German scientist Dr. Fritz Klatte in 1912. Since its discovery, it has been employed widely as a binding material, due to its adhesive properties for porous materials like wood and paper. Other than its use as polyvinyl acetate glue, it is also used in paper and textile industry to produce PVA coatings that lend a shiny touch to surfaces. PVAc is commonly used in the manufacture of latex paints, where it helps in forming a tough coating and a supportive film. It is also widely used for the production of polyvinyl acetate adhesives, which are more commonly known as Elmer’s glue, carpenter’s glue, or white glue.

On the other hand, PVAc is soluble in alcohols, ketones, and esters. It has a molar mass of 86.09 grams per mole (g/mol). The ester groups in the structural lattice of polyvinyl acetate render it reactive with alkalis, and lead to the formation of polyvinyl alcohol (PVOH, PVA, or PVAL) and acetic acid (CH3COOH). Boron compounds like borax and boric acid also react with the polymer, under alkaline settings, leading to the formation of a complex borate-slime-precipitate.

Industrial applications of polyvinyl acetate normally use it in the form of a liquefied emulsion. Polyvinyl acetate polymer exhibits sound resistance to UV rays and oxidation. This renders it an effective polymer with good aging characteristics, yet its water sensitivity can be a problem. This is typically taken care of by formulating it with plasticizers to increase its reliability and stability.

When PVAc is incorporated into emulsion coatings and adhesives, it is normally converted to polyvinyl alcohol first, which is a water-soluble polymer. This is done by means of partial hydrolysis. On a lesser level, it is also used as a protective coating for cheese to render it safe from humidity and fungi.

Latex hunt produces key results in Europe

The Dutch tyre company Apollo Vredestein has successfully produced the first prototypes of tyres obtained from natural latex from guayule and Russian dandelion plants. An outcome of the EU-PEARLS (‘EU-based production and exploitation of alternative rubber and latex sources’) project, the prototypes will be tested before their production is initiated. The researchers say these tyres could find a solid niche in the global market, helping Europe compete against Asian rubber manufacturers. EU-PEARLS received almost EUR 5.9 million under the ‘Food, agriculture and fisheries, and biotechnology’ (KBBE) Theme of the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme.

Experts say various natural latexes are key for natural rubber extraction. Natural rubber is a raw material used for the production of tyres, footwear, adhesives, surgical gloves and condoms. But Europeans currently import all of the latex used in the region; this latex is derived from the rubber tree Hevea brasiliensis. The top global producers of this latex are Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.

EU-PEARLS investigated potential alternative sources of latex and rubber in order to give Europeans a means to depend less on Asian products and to give Europe-based latex-producing facilities a boost. For its part, project partner NEIKER-Tecnalia from Spain analysed the genotyping of guayule (Parthenium argentatum) and the Russian dandelion plants (Taraxacum koksaghyz), two species used for substituting imported natural latex and their possible introduction into Europe. The researchers believe guayule can be grown in the Mediterranean area successfully and the Russian dandelion is better suited for eastern and northern countries in Europe.

Both guayule (other names such as DCPTA or Photosynthogen) and the Russian dandelion are solid alternatives. Experts have already started using guayule to produce biomass on a large scale in Spain. It should be noted that extraction of the Russian dandelion seems to be easier. The consortium optimised the development and acceleration of the growth of the Russian dandelion to boost its content of natural rubber available for extraction.

Finding a solution is important because not only is Europe forced to import the material but the Hevea brasiliensis tree is facing various threats. Both pests and diseases are affecting this tree. Its cultivation is also associated with very specific climate conditions that exist primarily in Asian and South American tropical zones. Researchers also recognise that the rubber from this tree triggers a latex allergy that is prevented with the use of guayule and Russian dandelion latex.